With fewer virtual options, students fear missing classes due to COVID-19

Nicole McIsaac and Melina Khan

With the reduction of Zoom and a push toward in-person instruction, Quinnipiac University students who contract COVID-19 are facing new hurdles when attending their classes. 

Students who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate and quarantine for 10 days. Provost Debra Liebowitz said they are exempt from attending classes. Student Health Services will correspond with the student’s professors on their behalf. 

Emma Kogel

Although this semester, Liebowitz said health services treat a COVID-19 diagnosis “just like having a concussion.”

“If you need to be out of class, (the) health center would notify your faculty, and then you would work with your faculty to figure out what can be done,” Liebowitz said.

While attending an on-ground class virtually is not permitted, Liebowitz said Zoom can still be utilized for students to meet with professors or watch a recorded class session should that option be utilized. 

“I wouldn’t say there’s no Zoom option available, what I’d say is, we’re not allowing the ‘just flip whenever you want’ Zoom option,” Liebowitz said.

Professors are instructed to assist students who miss class on a case-by-case basis, but Liebowitz said she has continued to remind faculty to be flexible with students who may need it.

However, the flexibility does not extend from last year’s course structure of hybrid classes. 

Liebowitz said that hybrid classes are the “hardest thing to manage” and are not allowed in the extenuating circumstances 

“It’s not a seamless experience,” Liebowitz said. “I think we did it very very well, and we can still do it if we need it. We still have that technology, but the goal is to move away from 100% of the courses being hybrid.”

More web-based classes are available in comparison to before the pandemic, Liebowitz said. 

Despite the increase in web-based classes, some students said all classes should have virtual options in preparation for sick individuals to still attend. 

Khushi Dagli, a sophomore health science studies major, said she personally knows students who became sick this semester but were scared to get tested for COVID-19 at the prospect of missing weeks of class.

“We already have Zoom carts and everything available in the classroom, so it would be a good idea to have that option actually available for students who actually do turn up positive,” Dagli said.

Similarly to Dagli, other students feel that the university should offer the same remote learning tools from last school year to encourage sick individuals to still attend class. 

“I guess they’re trying to have everything in person,” said Annika Sayles, a junior finance major. “If they have pre-recorded lectures, that would probably make my life a lot easier so I could watch them, or they could give notes on the class so I could still keep up.” 

On the other hand, other students do not feel that recorded videos would substitute the education they’re paying for. 

Nicholas Taylor, a second-year biochemistry major, said he feels he would not be able to learn the same information through recorded classes in comparison to being attentive in a live classroom or virtual classroom setting.

“I’d certainly feel like I would fall behind and I would have to work even harder than I was before to catch up to the level that everyone else would be at from actually being in person for classes,” Taylor said. “I love going to class, and having that being taken away and I couldn’t even attend via Zoom, I personally would feel very frustrated.” 

Until then, students who fall ill to the virus are prepared to experience a different learning experience than offered for ill students last year.